Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Winter Essentials: My Favorite Lip Balms


Has anyone else noticed that Mother Nature seems to be awfully confused about what season it is? One day its -8º out and the next its 60. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for an early spring, but these constant changes in temperature seriously wreak havoc on my body. My allergies are going nuts, as is my skin (which can't decide if it wants to be bone dry or oil slick). Truth be told, if there is one word that I can use to describe my usual state of existence between January and April living here in New England, it's uncomfortable.

So what's a girl to do? Do you just need to suffer through three months of static shocks, frizzy hair, and dry hands without reprieve? The answer is no. Or at least, not entirely. Maybe you can't avoid the pain of your face being slapped by a wind chill of -25º while you're walking in to work, but you can certainly do something to protect and treat the bits of you that are exposed to the elements.

Perhaps the most crucial of all my cold weather essentials is lip balm. Chapped lips can range from annoying to downright painful, which means I am all about taking the necessary steps to prevent them. And as your resident beauty enthusiast, it also means that I am forever on the hunt for that life changing, Holy Grail, ultimate savior from angry lips. Which, of course, brings us to today's post. I'm sharing 5 tried and true balms for surviving winter chap-free.


Now, I'm not here to knock a good old fashion tube of Chapstick or Burt's Bees (which you may have noticed is markedly absent from the pictures above). They're crazy affordable, and sure, they'll get the job done. However, if you want to treat your lips to a crazy-uber-luxurious-mind-blowing experience, one of these offerings is sure to do the trick.


Perhaps the most well known of the bunch is the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment ($24)*. This buttery balm has a blend of beeswax and nourishing oils to keep your lips feeling soft and hydrated all day long. While many other brands have tried to create their own spin on this cult classic, I've never seen anything come close to mimicking its texture. It seems to just melt onto your lips like nothing else I've tried in the most luxurious, satisfying kind of way. The original version is transparent and has a fresh, citrusy scent, but there are also 13 different tints to choose from if you prefer a pop of color. And, since we all know it's important to protect your skin from the sun, you'll be happy to see these balms also carry an SPF 15 rating. One other random, but important thing to note, is that Fresh really nailed it with the packaging on these balms. Not only are the metal tubes super sleek and gorgeous to look at, but they also have a locking mechanism so that you'll never find them capless and smooshed at the bottom of your purse.


I distinctly remember the first time I ever tried The Body Shop Aloe Lip Care ($9)*, even though a decade or more has probably passed since then. I glided a bit on with my finger and immediately my brain exclaimed "WHAT IS THIS?!". The texture was so rich and thick that it felt as though a divine cushiony barrier was covering them. From that moment on, I was hooked. If you're someone who is sensitive to fragrances or doesn't enjoy the sickly sweet scents that accompanies most lip products, you may have added reason to love this. The smell of this is very light and fresh, and shouldn't be irritating to sensitive noses.


My most recent discovery from this bunch is the Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm ($19). I had been oggling its info page on the Birchbox website for months and months, and finally decided to bite the bullet and give it a try at the end of last year. Needless to say, my money was well spent, and it quickly earned a coveted spot in my handbag. Unlike the Aloe Lip Care, which is a bit creamier in texture and imparts quite a bit of shine to the lips, this balm is a bit more waxy and matte. At first the texture threw me off a little, but I really came to appreciate how well it protected my lips from the elements. It also is fantastic for prepping your lips prior to applying a matte lipstick. I'll apply a thin layer before I do my foundation, giving it time to sink in, and then blot off the excess right before I want to add my color. Everything I put on top applies so much more smoothly, and my lips are way less likely to get dried out.


Despite my best efforts to keep my lips moisturized throughout the day, sometimes life wreaks more havoc than a balm can handle. If I've worn matte lipsticks three days in a row, or went out one night to the bar with friends, my lips will inevitably be at least a little bit cranky. If damage control is what I'm after, I'll almost always reach for the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask ($26)*. This magical tube contains lanolin (yes, the same stuff that's in nipple cream), which does miraculous things for dry, cracked lips. However, unlike the ointments that new moms may be reaching for, this lip mask also contains yummy ingredients like Vanilla Absolute and Agave Nectar, as well as antioxidant rich Resveratrol and soothing Jojoba oil. I'll slather a bit of this balm on my lips before bedtime and almost certainly wake up with them feeling baby soft.


For all of you die hard gloss girls, meet the Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm ($12). While the name says "balm" this product really feels like anything but. It's got a really thick, but non-sticky texture that gives your lips the most luscious, pouty, uber shiny look. However, unlike most traditional glosses, this stuff is crazy long wearing, and really keeps your lips feeling soft and hydrated all day long. Plus, it smells as fresh and amazing as its namesake cocktail. What's not to love?

What are your favorite lip balms?

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